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§ 98. The Westminster Standards in America.

With the Puritan emigration from England and the Presbyterian emigration from Scotland and the North of Ireland, the Westminster standards were planted on the virgin soil of America long before the Declaration of Independence. The most popular is the Shorter Catechism, which has undergone no change except a very slight one among the Cumberland Presbyterians.15521552   See next section.

THE CONGREGATIONAL CHURCHES OF NEW ENGLAND.

The Confession of Faith was first adopted 'for substance of doctrine,' but without the principles of Presbyterian discipline, by the Congregational Synod of Cambridge, in the Colony of Massachusetts, A.D. 1648, one year after its issue in England; then, in the Savoy recension, by the Synod of Boston, Mass., May 12, 1680; and again, in the same form, by the Congregational churches of Connecticut at a Synod of Saybrook, Sept. 9, 1708.

The Smaller Catechism was formerly used as a school-book in New England, but has been thrust into the background by the modern prejudice against catechisms and by a flood of more entertaining but less solid Sunday-school literature.

THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCHES.

The various Presbyterian bodies of English and Scotch descent used at first all the Westminster standards without alteration. The Presbytery of Philadelphia, the oldest in America, was organized in 1706, the Synod of Philadelphia in 1717, and the Synod of New York in 1743. The Synod of Philadelphia, Sept. 19, 1729, adopted the Confession with a liberal construction, in these words:

'Although the Synod do not claim or pretend to any authority of imposing our faith upon other men's consciences, but do profess our just dissatisfaction with and abhorrence of such impositions, and do utterly disclaim all legislative power and authority in the Church, being willing to receive one another as Christ has received us to the glory of God, and admit to 805fellowship in sacred ordinances all such as we have grounds to believe Christ will at last admit to the kingdom of heaven: yet we are undoubtedly obliged to take care that the faith once delivered to the saints be kept pure and uncorrupt among us, and so handed down to our posterity.

'And [we] do therefore agree that all the ministers of this Synod, or that shall hereafter be admitted to this Synod, shall declare their agreement in and approbation of the Confession of Faith, with the Larger and Shorter Catechisms of the Assembly of Divines at Westminster, as being, in all the essential and necessary articles, good forms of sound words and systems of Christian doctrine, and do also adopt the said Confession and Catechisms as the confession of our faith.

'And we do also agree that all the Presbyteries within our bounds shall always take care not to admit any candidate of the ministry into the exercise of the sacred function but what declares his agreement in opinion with all the essential and necessary articles of said Confession, either by subscribing the said Confession of Faith and Catechisms, or by a verbal declaration of his assent thereto, as such minister or candidate shall think best. And in case any minister of this Synod, or any candidate for the ministry, shall have any scruple with respect to any article or articles of said Confession or Catechisms, he shall, at the time of his making said declaration, declare his sentiments to the Presbytery or Synod, who shall, notwithstanding, admit him to the exercise of the ministry within our bounds, and to ministerial communion, if the Synod or Presbytery shall judge his scruple or mistake to be only about articles not essential and necessary in doctrine, worship, or government. But if the Synod or Presbytery shall judge such ministers or candidates erroneous in essential and necessary articles of faith, the Synod or Presbytery shall declare them incapable of communion with them. And the Synod do solemnly agree that none of us will traduce or use any opprobrious terms of those that differ from us in these extra-essential and not-necessary points of doctrine, but treat them with the same friendship, kindness, and brotherly love as if they had not differed from us in such sentiments.'15531553   Minutes of the Synod of Philadelphia, as published in the Records of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (embracing the Minutes of the Presbytery of Philadelphia, and of the Synods of New York and Philadelphia, from 1706 to 1788). Philad. Presbyt. Board of Public. 1841, p. 92. See also W. E. Moore's Presbyterian Digest: a Compend of the Acts and Deliverances of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (Philad. Presbyt. Board), second ed. 1873, pp.45 sq.

In the afternoon session the scruples about adopting these standards were solved, and the Synod unanimously declared that they do not receive 'some clauses in the twentieth and twenty-third chapters in any such sense as to suppose the civil magistrate hath a controlling power over Synods with respect to the exercise of their ministerial authority, or power to persecute any for their religion, or in any sense contrary to the Protestant succession to the throne of Great Britain.'

This supplementary action foreshadows the changes which were afterwards made.

When the Synods of Philadelphia and New York united in one body at Philadelphia, May 29, 1758, they adopted, as the first article of the plan of union, the following:

'Both Synods having always approved and received the Westminster Confession of Faith 806and Larger and Shorter Catechisms, as an orthodox and excellent system of Christian doctrine, founded on the Word of God, we do still receive the same as the confession of out faith; and also adhere to the plan of worship, government, and discipline contained in the Westminster Directory, strictly enjoining it on all our members and probationers for the ministry, that they preach and teach according to the form of sound words in said Confession and Catechisms, and avoid and oppose all errors contrary thereto.'15541554   See Minutes of the Synod of 1758 as published in the Records of the Presbyterian Church, p. 286. Also Moore's Digest, p. 48; and Gillett, Hist. of the Presbyt. Ch. in the U. S. of America, Vol. I. p. 138.

THE AMERICAN REVISION.

After the Revolutionary War the united Synod of Philadelphia and New York, which met at Philadelphia, May 28, 1787, appointed a committee to prepare an alteration in the Confession of Faith, Ch. XX. (closing paragraph), Ch. XXIII., 3, and Ch. XXXI., 1, 2, in consequence of the new relation of Church and State.15551555   See Records of the Presbyterian Church, p. 539, where we find the following minute, dated May 28, 1787: 'The Synod took into consideration the last paragraph of the twentieth chapter of the Westminster Confession of Faith, the third paragraph of the twenty-third chapter, and the first paragraph of the thirty-first chapter; and having made some alterations, agreed that the said paragraphs, as now altered, be printed for consideration, together with the draught of a plan of government and discipline. The Synod also appointed the above-named committee to revise the Westminster Directory for public worship, and to have it, when thus revised, printed, together with the draught, for consideration. And the Synod agreed that when the above proposed alterations in the Confession of Faith shall have been finally determined on by the body, and the Directory shall have been revised as above directed, and adopted by the Synod, the said Confession thus altered, and Directory thus revised and adopted, shall be styled, "The Confession of Faith and Directory for Public Worship of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America."'

The changes proposed were adopted by the joint Synod at a subsequent meeting in Philadelphia, May 28, 1788, in the following action:

'The Synod having fully considered the draught of the form of government and discipline, did, on a review of the whole, and hereby do ratify and adopt the same, as now altered and amended, as the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church in America, and order the same to be considered and strictly observed as the rule of their proceedings by all the inferior judicatories belonging to the body. And they order that a correct copy be printed, and that the Westminster Confession of faith, as now altered, be printed in full along with it, as making a part of the Constitution.

'Resolved, That the true intent and meaning of the above ratification by the Synod is, that the Form of Government and Discipline, and the Confession of Faith, as now ratified, is to continue to be our constitution and the confession of our faith and practice unalterable, unless two thirds of the Presbyteries under the care of the General Assembly shall propose alterations or amendments, and such alterations or amendments shall be agreed to and enacted by the General Assembly.'15561556   Records of the Presbyterian Church, p. 546; Moore's Digest, p. 51.

On the day following (May 29) the Synod 'took into consideration the Westminster Larger and Shorter Catechisms, and having made a 807small amendment of the Larger, did approve, and do hereby approve and ratify the said Catechisms, as now agreed on, as the Catechisms of the Presbyterian Church in the said United States.' At the same time it was ordered that all these standards, as altered and adapted to the wants of the American churches, be printed and bound up in one volume.15571557   Records, p. 547; Moore's Digest, p. 52. The first edition of the new book appeared Philad. 1789, under the title: 'The Constitution of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, containing the Confession of Faith, the Catechisms, the Government and Discipline, and the Directory of the Worship of God, ratified and adopted by the Synod of New York and Philadelphia, May 28, 1788. The Assembly of 1792 ordered a new edition with the Scripture texts annexed, and appointed a committee for the purpose. This edition was adopted by the Assembly in 1794 (Moore's Digest, p. 52).

The changes consist in the omission of those sentences which imply the union of Church and State, or the principle of ecclesiastical establishments, making it the duty of the civil magistrate not only to protect, but also to support religion, and giving to the magistrate power to call and ratify ecclesiastical synods and councils, and to punish heretics. Instead of this, the American revision confines the duty of the civil magistrate to the legal protection of religion in its public exercise, without distinction of Christian creeds or organizations. It thus professes the principle of religious liberty and equality of all denominations before the law. This principle has been faithfully and consistently adhered to by the large body of the Presbyterian Church in America, and has become the common law of the land. To facilitate the comparison we present the respective sections in parallel columns:

Original Text. American Text.
Ch. XXIII. 3.—Of the Civil Magistrate. Ch. XXIII. 3.—Of the Civil Magistrate.
The civil magistrate, may not assume to himself the administration of the Word and Sacraments, or the power of the keys of the kingdom of heaven;15581558    2 Chron. xxvi. 18; Matt. xviii. 17; Matt. xvi. 19; 1 Cor. xii. 28, 29; Eph. iv. 7, 12; 1 Cor. iv. 1, 2; Rom. x. 15; Heb. v. 4. yet he hath authority, and it is his duty to take order, that unity and peace be preserved in the Church, that the truth of God be kept pure and entire, that all blasphemies and heresies be suppressed, all corruptions and abuses in worship and discipline prevented or reformed; and all the ordinances of God duly settled, administered, Civil magistrates may not assume to themselves the administration of the Word and Sacraments;15591559    2 Chron. xxvi. 18 or the power of the keys of the kingdom of heaven;15601560    Matt. xvi. 19; 2 Cor. iv. 1, 2 or, in the least, interfere in matters of faith.15611561    John xviii. 36; Mal. ii. 7; Acts v. 29. Yet, as nursing fathers, it is the duty of civil magistrates to protect the Church of our common Lord, without giving the preference to any denomination of Christians above the rest, in such a manner that all ecclesiastical persons whatever shall enjoy the full, free, and unquestioned liberty

 

808
and observed.15621562    Isa. xlix. 23; Psa. cxxii. 9; Ezra vii. 23–28; Lev. xxiv. 16; Deut. xiii. 5, 6, 12; 1 Kings xviii. 4; 1 Chron. xiii. 1–9; 2 Kings xxiii. 1–26; 2 Chron. xxxiv. 33; xv. 12, 13. For the better effecting whereof he hath power to call synods, to be present at them, and to provide that whatsoever is transacted in them be according to the mind of God.15631563    2 Chron. xv. 8–17; xxix. 30; Matt. ii. 4, 5. of discharging every part of their sacred functions without violence or danger.15641564    Isa. xlix. 23. And as Jesus Christ hath appointed a regular government and discipline in his Church, no law of any commonwealth should interfere with, let, or hinder the due exercise thereof among the voluntary members of any denomination of Christians, according to their own profession and belief.15651565    Psa. cv. 15; Acts xviii. 14, 15, 16. It is the duty of civil magistrates to protect the person and good name of all their people, in such an effectual manner as that no person be suffered, either upon pretense of religion or infidelity, to offer any indignity, violence, abuse, or injury to any other person whatsoever; and to take order that all religious and ecclesiastical assemblies be held without molestation or disturbance.15661566    2 Sam. xxiii. 13; 1 Tim. ii. 1; Rom. xiii. 4.
Ch. XXXI.—Of Synods and Councils. Ch. XXXI.—Of Synods and Councils.
For the better government and further edification of the Church, there ought to be such assemblies as are commonly called synods or councils.15671567    Acts xv. 2, 4, 6. For the better government and further edification of the Church, there ought to be such assemblies as are commonly called synods or councils.15681568    Acts xv. 2, 4, 6. And it belongeth to the overseers and other rulers of the particular churches, by virtue of their office, and the power which Christ hath given them for edification, and not for destruction, to appoint such assemblies; and to convene together in them, as often as they shall judge it expedient for the good of the Church.15691569    Acts xv. 22, 23, 25.
II. As magistrates may lawfully call a synod of ministers and other fit persons to consult and advise with about matters of religion:15701570    Isa. xlix. 23; 1 Tim. ii. 1, 2; 2 Chron. xix. 8–12; xxix. and xxx.; Matt. ii. 4, 5; Prov. xi. 14. so, if magistrates be open enemies to the Church, the ministers of Christ, of themselves, by virtue of their office; or they, with other fit persons, upon delegation from their churches, may meet together in such assemblies.15711571    Acts xv. 2, 4, 22, 23, 25.

 

In Ch. XX., § 4, the last sentence, 'and by the power of the civil magistrate,' was omitted, so as to read, 'they [the offenders] may lawfully 809be called to account, and proceeded against by the censures of the Church.'

The only change made in the Larger Catechism was the striking out of the words 'tolerating a false religion,' among the sins forbidden in the Second Commandment (Quest. 109).

The example set by the Presbyterian Church in the United States was afterwards (1801) followed by the Protestant Episcopal Church in the revision of the political sections of the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion.

PRESBYTERIAN REUNION.15721572   For the documentary history of this remarkable movement, see the Minutes of the two General Assemblies for 1867–69, and of the reunited Assembly from 1870 to 1872; also the new edition of Moore's Presbyterian Digest (1873), pp. 57–106; and the Memorial Volume on Presbyterian Reunion, New York, 1870.

The division of the Presbyterian Church into Old School and New School, which took place at Philadelphia, June 8, 1837, arose chiefly from contentions in consequence of the Plan of Union formed in 1801 between the General Assembly and the Congregational Association of Connecticut, and involved two different constructions of the doctrinal standards—the one more strict and conservative, the other more liberal and progressive—but did not affect the organic law of the Church.15731573   For the documentary history of the separation of the Presbyterian Church and the 'Exscinding Acts' of the Old-School Assembly, see Baird's Collection (O. S.), pp. 710 sqq., and the first edition of Moore's New Digest (N. S.), pp. 456 sqq. In the new edition of Moore's Digest (1873), the chapter on the division is omitted, and the documents on the reunion inserted instead. The Old School, it is true, charged the New School with sixteen Pelagian and Arminian errors, which had their origin in recent developments of New England theology; but the New School met the charge with the 'Auburn Declaration' (Aug. 1837), which denied those errors and adopted sixteen 'true doctrines' in essential harmony with the Calvinistic anthropology and soteriology. This Declaration must be regarded as expressing the belief of the New-School body at that time, whatever the views of individual members may have been.15741574   The sixteen errors charged are found in Baird's Collection, pp. 711 and 745 sqq., together with the reply of the New School, which was afterwards, in Aug. of the same year, adopted by a convention of 98 commissioned ministers and 58 laymen (besides 24 corresponding members) at Auburn, N. Y., and is hence called the 'Auburn Declaration.' The latter is also embodied in the third volume of this work, p. 771. On its history, comp. Dr. Morris, in the Amer. Presbyt. Review, for January, 1876.

In the preparatory steps towards a reunion of these two bodies 810after a separation of thirty-two years, the question of the doctrinal basis took a prominent part. It was proposed that 'in the United Church the Westminster Confession of Faith shall be received and adopted as containing the system of doctrine taught in the Holy Scriptures.' It is characteristic of the excellent temper and spirit of concession which prevailed on both sides, that at the 'Presbyterian National Union Convention,' held in November, 1867, at Philadelphia, Dr. Henry B. Smith, of the Union Theological Seminary, New York, a prominent leader of the New School, proposed a defining clause, to satisfy the demands of Old School orthodoxy;15751575   The 'Smith amendment' was in these words: 'It being understood that this Confession is received in its proper historical, that is, the Calvinistic or Reformed, sense.' This would exclude, of course, Antinomianism and Fatalism on the one hand, and Arminianism and Pelagianism on the other. while the Rev. Dr. Gurley, pastor of an Old-School church in Washington City, proposed an additional clause to guarantee the New School liberty of interpretation.15761576   The 'Gurley amendment' was in these words: 'It is also understood that various methods of viewing, stating, explaining, and illustrating the doctrines of the Confession, which do not impair the integrity of the Reformed or Calvinistic system, are to be freely allowed in the United Church, as they have hitherto been allowed in the separate Churches.' The amendments were received unanimously, with great joy and gratitude.

But after further consideration it was found best to drop both these amendments, and when the reunion was consummated by the two assemblies at Pittsburgh, Pa., Nov. 10, 1869, the following article was unanimously adopted:

'The reunion shall be effected on the doctrinal and ecclesiastical basis of our common Standards; the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments shall be acknowledged to be the inspired Word of God, and the only infallible rule of faith and practice; the Confession of Faith shall continue to be sincerely received and adopted, as containing the system of doctrine taught in the Holy Scriptures; and the government and discipline of the Presbyterian Church in the United States shall be approved as containing the principles and rules of our polity.'

Thus the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, which had been unfortunately separated by a permissive decree of God, was happily and, we trust, forever reunited by an efficient and gracious decree of God.15771577   See the address of Dr. Masgrave at the meeting in Pittsburgh, Memorial Volume, p. 388.

OTHER PRESBYTERIAN CHURCHES IN THE UNITED STATES.

In addition to this large Presbyterian Church, there are in the 811United States a number of smaller ones having distinctively a Scottish origin. Of these and of their relation to the Westminster standards the Rev. G. D. Mathews, of New York, from his own familiar acquaintance with the Presbyterian Churches in Scotland and the United States, kindly furnishes for this work the following account:

'Among the emigrants into this country in the last century were many who had been connected with the Associate Church of Scotland. The fathers of that Church, the Erskines, objected not so much to the constitution of the Established Church as to its administration, especially in reference to patronage and to Church discipline. In 1753 the American Associate Church was organized as a Presbytery subordinate to the Antiburgher Synod of Scotland, equalling if not surpassing the mother Church in its rigid adherence to the doctrinal system of the Westminster standards. Its zeal for these, indeed, served to deepen its opposition to the Scottish Establishment as a Church that had become unfaithful to its religious profession.

'In 1774 a Reformed Presbyterian Presbytery was constituted in America by followers of Cargill, Cameron, and Renwick. These held that the Church of Scotland had marred its standing as a true Church of Christ by entering into union with an immoral government—the government of Great Britain being of this character because not based on Scriptural principles. Of this latter position the proof was alleged to lie in its disregard, as shown by the national acceptance of Episcopacy at the Restoration in 1660, and again at the Revolution in 1688, of that Solemn League and Covenant which had been sworn to in 1643, a Covenant whose engagements were affirmed to be binding on the people of the British Empire until fulfilled. An additional proof lay in the absence from its constitution of any acknowledgment of God as the Author of its existence and the source of its authority, of Jesus Christ as its Ruler, and of the Bible as the supreme law of its conduct.

'Notwithstanding some actual differences, the force of circumstances brought these Churches together, so that in 1782 they became united under the name of the Associate Reformed Church—minorities on both sides refusing to enter the union, and thus perpetuating their respective Churches. In 1799 the Associate Reformed Church issued an edition of the Westminster Confession containing the following changes from the original documents:

Chap. XX. 4.— . . . faith, worship, conversation, (insert) or the order which Christ hath established in his Church, they may be lawfully called to account, and proceeded against by the censures of the Church; and in proportion as their erroneous opinions or practices, either in their own nature or in the manner of publishing or maintaining them, are destructive to the external peace of the Church and of civil society, they may also be proceeded against by the power of the civil magistrate.

Chap. XXII. 3.— . . . the keys of the kingdom of heaven. (Add) Yet, as the gospel revelation lays indispensable obligations upon all classes of people who are favored with it, magistrates, as such, are bound to execute their respective offices in a subserviency thereto, administering government on Christian principles, and ruling in the fear of God, according to the directions of his Word; as those who shall give an account to the Lord Jesus, whom God hath appointed to be the Judge of the world.

Hence magistrates, as such, in a Christian country are bound to promote the Christian religion, is the most valuable interest of their subjects, by all such means as are not inconsistent with civil rights, and do not imply an interference with the policy of the Church, which is the free and independent kingdom of the Redeemer, nor an assumption of dominion over conscience.

Chap. XXXI. 2.—(Substitute.) The ministers of Christ themselves, and by virtue of their office; or they with other fit persons, upon delegation from their churches, have the exclusive right to appoint, adjourn, or dissolve such synods or councils; though in extraordinary cases it may be proper for magistrates to desire the calling of a synod of ministers and other fit persons, to consult and advise with about matters of religion; and in such cases it is the duly of churches to comply with their desire.

'In the Larger Catechism, under the things forbidden by the Second Commandment, the word authorizing was substituted for "tolerating a false religion."

812

'In 1858 the Associate Church, which had by this time grown considerably, joined with the Associate Reformed Church, when the name United Presbyterian Church was assumed and the Westminster Confession again altered. The edition used by this Church differs from the original in the following passages:

Chap. XX. 4.— . . . hath established in the Church, they (add) ought to be called to account, and proceeded against by the censures of the Church, if they belong to her communion, and thus be amenable to her own spiritual authority. And as the civil magistrate is the minister of God for good to the virtuous and a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil, he is therefore bound to suppress individuals and combinations, whatever may be their avowed objects, whether political or religious, whose principles and practices, openly propagated and maintained, are calculated to subvert the foundations of properly constituted society.

Chap. XXIII. 3.— . . . kingdom of heaven, (add) or in the least interfere to regulate matter's of faith and worship. As nursing fathers, magistrates are bound to administer their government according to the revealed principles of Christianity, and to improve the opportunities which their high station and extensive influence afford in promoting the Christian religion as their own most valuable interest and the good of the people demand, by all such means as do not imply any infringement of the inherent rights of the Church, or any assumption of dominion over the consciences of men. They ought not to punish any as heretics or schismatics. No authoritative judgment concerning matters of religion is competent to them, as their authority extends only to the external works or practices of their subjects as citizens, and not as Christians. It is their duty to protect the Church in such a manner that all ecclesiastical persons shall enjoy the free, full, and unquestioned liberty of discharging every part of their sacred functions without violence or danger. They should enact no law which would in any way interfere with or hinder the due exercise of government and discipline established by Jesus Christ in his Church. It is their duty also to protect the person, good name, estate, natural and civil rights of all their subjects in such a way that no person be suffered, upon any pretense, to violate them; and to take order that all religious and ecclesiastical assemblies be held without molestation or disturbance. God alone being Lord of the conscience, the civil magistrate may not compel any under his civil authority to worship God contrary to the dictates of their own consciences; yet it is competent in him to restrain such opinions and to punish such practices as tend to subvert the foundations of civil society and violate the common rights of men.

Chap. XXXI. 2.—(Substitute.) We declare that as the Church of Jesus Christ is a kingdom distinct from and independent of the state, having a government, laws, office-bearers, and all spiritual power peculiar to herself for her own edification; so it belongs exclusively to the ministers of Christ, together with other fit persons, upon delegation from their churches, by virtue of their office and the intrinsic power committed unto them, to appoint their own assemblies, and to convene together in them as often as they should judge it expedient for the good of the Church.

'In the question of the Larger Catechism, changed in 1799, the original word tolerating was restored.

'At no period has the Associate Church, which still exists, altered the language of the Confession. It has refrained from doing this, "judging it to be improper for one ecclesiastical body to alter any deed of another, making it rather express their own views than those of the body by whom it was originally framed, for hereby the sentiments of one body may be unfairly palmed upon another." Any obscurity or error in the Confession should be remedied by the emitting of a Testimony, in which there could be given a full and accurate statement of the particular truth in question. In 1784, therefore, the Associate Church issued such a Testimony, in which (Articles 15–19), speaking of the civil magistrate, it affirmed that the magistrate, as such, is no ruler in the Church; that he should not grant any privileges to those whom he judges professors of the true religion which may hurt others in their natural rights; that his whole duty, as a magistrate, respects men, not as Christians, but as members of civil society; that any de facto government governing orderly is that ordinance of God which must be obeyed, and that with any such government Christians may lawfully co-operate.

'The Reformed Presbyterian Church has also retained the Westminster Confession unaltered. Adhering to its teaching on the Civil Magistrate, as this was received by the Church of Scotland in the Adopting Act of 1647, it issued in 1806 a Testimony, in which it declared that civil government is a natural institution, but that, to be a lawful one, so that a Christian man may take part in it, God must be acknowledged in its constitution as the fountain of all 813power and authority, and that Christian rulers, appointed to office according to a righteous civil constitution, have authority from God to rule, in subserviency to the kingdom of Christ. The absence from the American national constitution of any such acknowledgment renders that covenant unscriptural and immoral, and so precludes Christian men from becoming identified with its administration. Another reason for this political dissent is the doctrine of the binding obligation of the Scottish Covenants.

'A difference of opinion that had gradually risen within this Church as to the extent of this precluding led to the formation, in 1833, of the Synod of the Reformed Presbyterian Church holding the extremest view of political dissent, and of the General Synod of the same Church, permitting its members to exercise the political franchise.

'As regards the doctrinal articles of the Confession, all these Churches are Calvino Calviniores.'


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